Live-Action ‘Mulan’ Dominates Disc Sales Charts

Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan dominated the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Nov. 14.

The film, a retelling of the ancient Chinese folklore about a young woman who impersonates a man in order to serve in the military so her father doesn’t have to, had been considered one of Disney’s big tentpole releases during the summer before the coronavirus pandemic derailed those plans. The film instead bypassed U.S. theaters and was released via premium VOD on Disney+.

It was then released on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 10, just four days after the studio officially announced the disc release.

Blu-ray Disc formats (including 4K) accounted for 72% of first-week Mulan disc sales. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray accounted for 10% of the film’s total unit sales.

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The No. 2 title on both charts, Warner’s Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection, sold 44% as many copies as Mulan overall, and 37% as many Blu-rays.

The week’s only other new release to make the top 20 was MGM and Orion Pictures’ Bill & Ted Face the Music, distributed on disc by Warmer Bros. Home Entertainment. Theatrical plans for the third film in the “Bill & Ted” franchise were similarly disrupted by the pandemic, with it ultimately seeing a PVOD release alongside a limited theatrical run in which it grossed $3.4 million domestically. In its first week on disc it was the No. 20 overall seller and No. 9 on the Blu-ray chart, with the HD format accounting for 60% of its total sales.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Nov. 15, Mulan debuted at No. 1, with Bill & Ted Face the Music at No. 2.

The previous week’s top rental, Lionsgate’s Antebellum, dropped to No. 3.

A couple of Redbox exclusives rounded out the top five: the newly released comedy Chick Fight at No. 4, and the thriller An Imperfect Murder at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 11-14-20
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 11-15-20
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 11-14-20
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 11-14-20
Sales Report for Week Ended 11-14-20
Digital Sales Snapshot for Week Ended 11-16-20

‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel Tops Redbox On Demand Chart; ‘Mulan’ No. 1 Disc Rental

MGM and Orion Pictures’ Bill & Ted Face the Music took over the top spot on the Redbox On Demand chart the week ended Nov. 15, and debuted at No. 2 on Redbox’s disc rental chart. The sequel is distributed on disc by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The third film in the “Bill & Ted” franchise finds the duo, now middle-aged, struggling to fulfill the prophecy that their music will bring about world peace in the future, causing reality to fracture. Its theatrical run was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, and while it made $3.4 million in limited theatrical release, it was primarily available over the summer through premium VOD.

Landing at No. 1 on the disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red kiosks, was Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan. The film, based on the ancient Chinese folklore about a young woman who impersonates a man to serve in the army, also had its theatrical run derailed by COVID-19, and instead was released in the United States as a $29.99 add-on to the Disney+ streaming service, making it available to those who paid for it months earlier than when it would become available to all members. It was released internationally in territories such as China that don’t yet have Disney+, but underperformed with just a $66.8 million international box office gross.

The previous week’s top title on both charts, Lionsgate’s Antebellum, dropped to No. 3 on the disc chart and No. 2 on the On Demand chart, which tracks digital rental transactions.

No. 4 on the disc chart and No. 5 on the digital chart was Redbox’s own Chick Fight, about a woman who joins an underground fight club when her life spirals out of control. It stars Malin Akerman, Bella Thorne and Alec Baldwin.

Also new to the list was Lionsgate’s Mortal, an action-thriller about a psychologically troubled young man who discovers that he has inexplicably inherited the supernatural powers of Thor. It was No. 3 on the On Demand chart and No. 6 on the disc chart.

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Rounding out the top five disc rentals was Redbox’s exclusive An Imperfect Murder. On the digital chart, Universal’s actioner The 2nd was No. 4.

Other newcomers making their way on to the chart include Lionsgate’s Guest House at No. 10 on the disc chart, and Lionsgate’s Unhinged at No. 10 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Nov. 15:

  1. Mulan (2020) — Disney
  2. Bill & Ted Face the Music — Warner/MGM
  3. Antebellum — Lionsgate
  4. Chick Fight — Redbox
  5. An Imperfect Murder — Redbox
  6. Mortal — Lionsgate
  7. Friendsgiving — Lionsgate
  8. The Vanished — Paramount
  9. Ava — Redbox
  10. Guest House — Lionsgate

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Nov. 15:

  1. Bill & Ted Face the Music — MGM
  2. Antebellum — Lionsgate
  3. Mortal — Lionsgate
  4. The 2nd — Universal
  5. Chick Fight — Redbox
  6. After We Collided — Open Road
  7. Ava — Redbox
  8. The Vanished — Paramount
  9. Friendsgiving — Lionsgate
  10. Unhinged — Lionsgate

 

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DEG: Home Entertainment Spending Surges 18% in Q3 of 2020

Fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, consumers spent nearly 18% more on home entertainment in the third quarter of this year than in the comparable period of 2019, according to numbers released Nov. 11 by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

DEG numbers do not include money spent on premium video-on-demand (PVOD), which would have taken the home entertainment spending total significantly higher. With theaters shuttered due to the pandemic, studios chose to release several high-profile films digitally, at a premium price.

Even without PVOD, spending rose to an estimated $7.3 billion from $6.2 billion in the third quarter of 2019, DEG says, maintaining that “when new [theatrical] releases slowed as a result of production halts and theater closures … consumers seamlessly shifted their viewing to a broad variety of content, including catalog movies and TV shows.”

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As expected, consumer spending on subscription streaming surged during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, rising nearly 39% to an estimated $5.5 billion, or 75% of total consumer spending.

With no fresh theatrical product, spending on home entertainment purchases slipped 24.4% during the third quarter, to an estimated $1.1 billion. Packaged media was hit particularly hard due to widespread store closures due to regional bans on “non-essential” retail, with consumer spending on DVD and Blu-ray Discs down 34.3% in the quarter, to an estimated $483.3 million. Spending on digital content, or “electronic sellthrough” (EST), was off just 13.9%, to an estimated $600.8 million.

Consumer spending on transactional video-on-demand, or electronic rental, ticked up slightly to an estimated $459 million from $447.6 million in the third quarter of 2019.

DVD and Blu-ray Disc rental spending was off 34.4% as stay-at-home orders limited foot traffic to video stores and Redbox kiosks.

In the first nine months of the year, overall U.S. consumer spending across digital and physical home entertainment formats came in at an estimated $22.2 billion, a 23% spike from the $18 billion consumers spent in the same period a year earlier.

Electronic sellthrough spending was up 15.8% to an estimated $2.2 billion, while electronic rental was up nearly 24% to an estimated $1.8 billion.

Spending on subscription streaming for the first nine months of 2020 is pegged by DEG at $15.6 billion, a 38.7% gain from the first nine months of 2019.

DEG says that among the top titles purchased and rented in the third quarter of 2020 were all three seasons of the TV series “Yellowstone,” from Paramount; the DreamWorks movie Trolls World Tour, distributed by Universal; RLJ Entertainment’s The Tax Collector; MGM/Orion’s Bill & Ted Face the Music, distributed by Warner Bros.; The King of Staten Island (Universal); Force of Nature (Lionsgate); Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount); Schitt’s Creek: Season 6 (CBS), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner Bros.) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner Bros.).

Big Week for DVD, Blu-ray Disc Topped with ‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel, ‘Mulan’ and Trio of ‘Complete Season’ TV Series Sets

It’s a big week for DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, with Warner Bros. releasing the comedy sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music on both disc formats and three complete series sets of popular TV series “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Office” and “Downton Abbey” arriving on disc as well.

Meanwhile, new digital offerings available Nov. 10 include Sony Pictures’ The Broken Hearts Gallery, Lionsgate’s Words on Bathroom Walls and Paramount’s Jungleland.

Bill & Ted Face the Music is the third film in the “Bill & Ted” franchise, following 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. The film, from MGM and Orion Pictures, was slated for a wide theatrical release over the summer. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was released via PVOD and in a handful of theaters that opened after quarantine restrictions were lifted, earning $3.3 million at the domestic box office.

The film was released  via standard digital sellthrough Oct. 20 in advance of its Nov. 10 release on disc and standard VOD.

“Schitt’s Creek” concluded its six-season run in April. All 80 episodes are now available in a DVD-only collection from Lionsgate. The irreverent character-driven comedy centers on the reversal-of-fortune story of the once-rich Rose family. Suddenly finding themselves broke, the Roses are forced to rebuild their empire in Schitt’s Creek, a small town they had purchased earlier as a joke. The Canadian show received 19 Emmy nominations during its run, with 15 for its sixth season, setting a record for most nominations for a comedy series in its final season.

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“The Office,” which makes its Blu-ray Disc debut on Nov. 10, is an American sitcom that depicts the everyday work lives of employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. in Scranton, Penn. The show lasted nine seasons, airing on NBC from March  2005 to May 2013, and features an ensemble cast centered for the first seven seasons around wacky boss Steve Carell. Other notable cast members include Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling and Creed Bratton, best known as a member of the classic pop-rock band the Grass Roots. The complete series has been available on DVD since 2014.

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“Downton Abbey” is a British historical drama television series set in the early 20th Century. The series ran for six seasons on PBS and inspired the 2019 movie Downton Abbey. The complete series is being released for the first time on DVD only by Universal on Nov. 10. Individual season sets were previously issued by PBS Distribution.

Other notable new releases available Nov. 10 include Disney’s live-action Mulan remake, Lionsgate’s Guest House and Mortal and Paramount’s Spontaneous.

The live-action Mulan, about a girl who poses as a boy to serve in her father’s place in the army in ancient China, arrives on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD. Disney is also releasing a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the original animated Mulan from 1998. The two films also will be available together in a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack that also includes digital editions. The live-action Mulan made headlines over the Labor Day weekend when it bypassed theatrical distribution for in-home premium VOD. Disney announced the disc version just four days before its street date.

Guest House is a comedy starring Pauly Shore as a party animal who lives in a guest house. When the main house is purchased by an engaged couple, he refuses to leave. The film is available on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Mortal is a thriller in which a sleepy Norwegian town erupts after an American backpacker is arrested. Witnesses claim a teen died after touching the stranger, and that he inexplicably started a fire that engulfed a farm. He warns a psychologist, Christine, that he has supernatural powers, and that anyone who gets too close to him dies. The film is being released on DVD and Blu-Disc Nov. 10, four days after its digital debut.

And Spontaneous, also available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, stars Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer as seniors at a high school where the students begin literally exploding. Realizing each moment may be their last, they begin a romance and start living for today. The film was initially released for premium video-on-demand viewing and digital sellthrough Oct. 6, four days after it began showing in select movie theaters.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘Tremors,’ ‘Bill & Ted’ Sequels Top New Releases for Home Viewing

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Tremors: Shrieker Island and Warner’s  Bill & Ted Face the Music top the slate of new releases available for home viewers beginning Oct. 20.

Other new titles consumers can watch at home include Paramount’s The Vanished and a new collector’s set of all three “Back to the Future” movies from Universal, including the trilogy’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut.

Tremors: Shrieker Island, the seventh film in the long-running “Tremors” thriller franchise, is being released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD as well as through digital retailers. The film finds Michael Gross returning as Graboid hunter Burt Gummer, joined by Jon Heder as his potential protégé as they take on a batch of genetically modified Graboids terrorizing a tropical island.

Universal also is releasing all seven “Tremors” movies in a five-DVD set.

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The first film, which starred Kevin Bacon and dealt with large worm-like creatures attacking a small desert community, spawned a series of direct-to-video sequels starting in 1996, all of which featured Gross reprising his Gummer character from the original.

Bill & Ted Face the Music becomes available on standard digital sellthrough after an initial release on premium VOD rental and purchase from MGM and Orion Pictures.

The third film in the “Bill & Ted” franchise finds Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprising their roles as the time traveling title duo, who are tasked with emissaries from the future with writing the song that will unite humanity for all time.

The film was slated for a wide theatrical release over the summer that was pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, it was released via PVOD and in a handful of theaters that opened after quarantine restrictions were lifted, earning $3.3 million at the domestic box office.

The film becomes available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Nov. 10.

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The Vanished on Oct. 20 becomes available on DVD. The thriller has already been available for digital sellthrough and on demand. Written and directed Peter Facinelli, the film deals with a family vacation that takes a terrifying turn when parents discover their young daughter has vanished without a trace. Stopping at nothing to find her, the search for the truth leads to a shocking revelation.

The film stars Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jason Patric and Facinelli, and is rated ‘R’ for violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use.

Other new releases of note available for home viewing on Oct. 20 include the Well Go USA urban drama Cut Throat City, with Wesley Snipes, on Blu-ray Disc and DVD (it was released digitally two weeks earlier); the Lionsgate zombie horror film Alone; and season one of “The Great,” the 10-episode Hulu series about Catherine the Great, arriving on DVD and for digital purchase or rental from Paramount.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

The Hits Keep Coming as Summer Box Office Hopes Fade

Last week was one to forget for exhibitors, eager to re-start their business following months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. High-profile studio titles Mulan (Disney) and Tenet (Warner Bros.) were further delayed into August following renewed fears about COVID-19 infection spikes in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida, among other areas.

Then came news on June 26 that the long-delayed third installment in MGM’s Orion Pictures’ “Bill & Ted” sci-fi adult comedy franchise Bill & Ted Face the Music, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in their original roles, was being pushed back to Aug. 28 from Aug. 21 — the new date of the Mulan reschedule. Bill & Ted, about two metalhead slacker friends who travel through time, had been originally slated for Aug. 14. The original Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure launched in 1989, followed by Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991 — both starring Reeves and Winter — and grossing $78 million ($149 million today) collectively in theaters.

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Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars closed again in Los Angeles and six other counties.

“This does not bode well for film and TV production, movie theaters, the restart of sports, including college athletics and theme parks,” Rich Greenfield with LightShed Partners, tweeted June 28.

Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter contends the box office won’t return to normal even as major chains such as AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, re-open screens next month.

“People may be eager to visit the theaters once they feel safe doing so, but we think it is unlikely crowds will return to any semblance of normal before a vaccine is widely distributed, particularly in urban and suburban markets,” Pachter wrote in a note.

Regardless, MGM has a lot riding on the movie, having just secured all remaining international territories (excluding China) for the movie from Endeavor Content. MGM had previously secured distribution in key international territories, including Germany, Greece, Latin America and the Middle East, among others. As part of the June 25 announced agreement, MGM will also distribute Face The Music throughout France, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Scandinavia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Hungary, Turkey, Benelux, Bulgaria, Singapore and Romania.

“[The movie] is the perfect dose of fun and nostalgia and universally relatable in its message to ‘be excellent to each other,'” Chris Ottinger, who heads MGM’s international distribution and acquisitions division, said in a statement.